Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, April 13-18, 2016

bungling government: actually a redundancy, since government is the enemy because it is by definition incompetent, corrupt, technocratic, and self-serving–and robs us of our liberty. Anything the public sector can do private individuals can do better. The key rhetorical ploy here is depriving the government of the funding it needs to fully function, then blaming it for being dysfunctional.

crony capitalism: the Dem way of inside-the-Beltway business, always  catering to “special interests,” always to be denounced. Of course, when the Tea Party caters to narrow interests, it’s called “setting the market free”.

economic empowerment: bottom-up reform liberating consumers, freeing up the market, ending government regulation–all leading to unlimited growth and prosperity. This eternal and infernal delusion of endless growth  (always in the name of “efficiency”) and unregulated wealth creation is the promise of Trumpism and the Tea Party. Never mind that, in the words of Tony Judt in Ill Fares the Land,“unregulated capitalism is its own worst enemy: sooner or later it must fall prey to its own excesses and turn to the state again for rescue.”

egging on racial violence: mentioning race as a factor in police shootings of minorities, etc. Actually, mentioning race at all.

government extortion of bank assets: Dodd-Frank. Banks were actually the scapegoats of the financial crisis, not the villains. After all, it was the mission of the  big banks to guarantee safety and soundness, and the federal regulators who forced them to make reckless sub-prime loans.

hard choices: to the Tea Party, rationales for inflicting pain on others, especially the poor.

homeowners: the sub-prime deadbeat minorities, propped up by government regulators,   who were the real real villains of the financial crisis.

incentives, effort, and reward: the Tea Party promise of prosperity and upward mobility through drastic cuts in public services. The circular argument of Dickensian Social Darwinism at work: the prosperous are prosperous because they deserve it. The poor are poor also because they deserve it because of laziness or bad character.

independent advance of technology: how the private sector is going to save the planet from climate change over the next century. No government regulators, policies or subsidies required if you just believe in the “unseen hand” of human ingenuity!

Los Angeles and San Francisco: liberal urban seas of smug yuppie self-absorption.

malign reporting: any lamestream media reports that accurately spell out the term of religious liberty (aka “bathroom’) laws. It’s always called “unfair” when reporters talk about the exclusionary, discriminatory, and biased aspects and outcomes of these laws.

political dysfunction: the current political climate, caused by Dem intransigence and a doctrinaire socialism that Americans don’t want.  Never mind that the current political dysfunction has been caused by the GOP/Tea Party vow to stymie Obama, and their intransigent clinging to doctrines of low taxes, limited government, unfettered markets, and the end of the welfare state.

self interest: always furthered by markets and economic efficiencies. Calls for “the common good” or “collective actions” actually hinder everyone’s self interest, which is dependent on the “invisible hand” of the market.

taxes: uncompensated income loss. Forget ideas of the “collective good,” “public sector,” or “civil society.” 

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